Nigeria police free Lecce player Obodo

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Associated Press

Posted on June 10, 2012 at 5:02 PM

Updated Monday, Jun 11 at 7:02 AM

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Police in Nigeria say they have freed Christian Obodo, a midfielder for Italy's Udinese football club who was kidnapped in the country's oil-rich delta.

Delta state police spokesman Charles Muka said that officers found the athlete in the state unharmed Sunday night and arrested several suspected kidnappers. Muka said he had no other immediate information.

Kidnappers abducted Obodo on Saturday in Warri, a major city in Nigeria's Niger Delta. The gunmen attacked Obodo as he approached a church for a Saturday service. They later asked for a $187,500 ransom for his release.

Kidnappings remain common in the Niger Delta, where gangs and militants once only targeted foreign oil workers. Now, gunmen routinely take middle- and upper-class Nigerians.

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